LEWISTON — Despite 25 losses at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee this season, the Portland Pirates suffered a fate at their home rink Wednesday they’d avoided since January 28, 2012 — they lost without scoring at least one goal.

Four different Manchester skaters scored goals and rookie Patrik Bartosak stopped all 29 shots he faced to lead the Monarchs to a 5-0 win over the Pirates in front of a sparse crowd at the Colisee.

“Every goal was a lack of compete,” Portland coach Ray Edwards said. “We’d lose battles, we turned pucks over. It’s just where we’re at.”

Division-leading Manchester (46-19-2-6) netted at least a goal in each frame to run its point total to an even 100 on the season, solidifying its hold on the top spot in the Eastern Conference. And it did so incorporating some younger players in the lineup.

The Pirates saw yet another newcomer — former Shawinigan and Cape Breton skater Justin Hache — make his professional debut Wednesday, in a game originally schedule for Sunday, April 20. The Pirates have introduced five players to the professional ranks in recent weeks, all players who have completed their junior or college seasons.

“We’re trying to put young guys in there, they’re trying, but there’s a lot of mistakes being made,” Edwards said. “It’s frustrating for our older players right now. It’s frustrating because of the situation … That’s why we’re injecting these younger players into the lineup, to try and bring us some life and some enthusiasm.”

Louis Domingue suffered the loss for the Pirates in net Wednesday, his 15th of the season. He stopped 23 of the 28 shots he saw.

Portland weathered an early Manchester push and escaped after a pair of early chances that bounced in on Domingue. Both teams also killed off a pair of penalties through the first two-thirds of the opening period, including a 1:34 stretch of 5-on-3 killing from the Pirates.

Instead of grabbing the momentum from that kill, the Pirates allowed a goal. With 1:01 to play in the first, Steve Quailer finished a feed from Andrew Bodnarchuk in tight for a 1-0 Manchester advantage.

The Monarchs made it 2-0 only 1:14 into the second when Michael Mersch lobbed a wrister on net and the puck squirted through Domingue’s pads.

“The second goal was a bad goal,” Edwards said, “but other than that, I thought he played good. That’s been the story of our year. We’ll make some great saves, and then let a bad one in like that. Those are goals you have to eliminate from your game.”

Despite the deficit, the Pirates felt OK about their play in the first 40 minutes.

“We were playing hard, we were playing fast, we were getting tons of chances, and their goalie was really good,” Edwards said. “I didn’t mind us after two periods.”

Manchester added a third goal at :18 of the third to put plenty of distance between them and the Pirates, though, and added two more in the closing minutes, with Mersch earning his second career goal — and second of the game — at 17:50, and Scott Sabourin closing it out with 37 seconds to play.


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